Interviewing Home Inspectors


I am a homebuyer who am looking to find a qualified home inspector near Raleigh, NC. I have several referrals from colleagues, as well as a name from our realtor.

I am a bit hesitant to use the realtor’s referral, as I wonder if the inspector will bias his inspection in order to keep her happy (and keep her business). “Luckily” my first review of his credentials seems to indicate we won’t use him.

Beyond that, I am wondering if members out there could provide advice on the questions to ask potential home inspectors so as to best assess their competencies for our future inspection. I hope to conduct the interviews in the next 2-3 days.


Ms Stone,

Your reluctance to accept the recommendation of your real estate salesperson is a prudent one.

In seeking the “questions one should ask” of a home inspector, prudence should also dictate. Many of us have a tendency to use our own resumes as “minimum basic standards”. No doubt, you will hear from these folks quite readily.

Your state requires home inspectors to be licensed which, unfortunately, clouds the issue for you since ALL licensed inspectors have met the state’s definition of competency. But who can you trust?

Your first source should be someone who has recently utilized the services of a home inspector and ask them about their own personal experiences. Your agent should be able to provide you with five to ten names, immediately, of recent home buyers who have used a variety of inspectors in your area. Following those interviews, you should know what to ask.

Here is some info from another inspector’s site that may help, we too fall under the licensing dilemma.


I like many other on this MB have realtors refer me for one simple reason they care about their clients best intrests and have used me for their own or family members purchases.


Dee. Call several. Go to there websites. Interview them.

I would ask.

How long have you been in business?
How many inspections have you performed?
What is your backround?
Do you carry insurance?
What type of report will I receive & when? Do you take pictures?
What type of memberships and qualifications do you have?
Do you use any specialized tools?
How long will the inspection take?

Why should I use your services? What sets you aside from the competition?
Do you feel comfortable speaking with the inspector on the phone?
Do you need any additional services such as Radon, Mold, Insects, ECT.?

Do not use the cheapest inspector?

Make sure you read the inspectors contract. Many provide online or email.
Also review the standards of Practice or State licensing to understand the scope of an inspection.

Good luck with your new home. Let us know how your inspection goes.

You must have some really solid realtors there, Barry. I have only one that recommends me fulltime. I have had 6-7 use me for their own, family members or friends purchases/builds in the past year or so…but they don’t recommend me to the general public on a regular basis!! I get the odd client from them when the house looks like it has major problems but the client wants it as a fixer-upper or for location reasons.

On Friday, got a call from a realtor who has seen me work as one of his clients hired me on a recommendation (he doesn’t recommend me!!). A friend of this realtor has a new home that is a horror story. (it almost killed his asthmatic son)…it’s been on a well known Canadian national investigative TV program about 2 months ago as well as on Mike Holmes MB with pictures. This is the third referral I’ve got to this house but the owners do not want to pay the $$$$ to get to the litigation stage…so I sit and watch and wonder when the fourth referral will come my way:shock: :shock: :roll: :roll:.


Congrats for being so intuitive! In my area we have over 700 realtors in a small proximity. With the exception of a VERY FEW, they are lazy in nature and do not want to do anything beyond the minimum.
You are completely right that they’ll steer you to someone who will gloss everything over so their deal can go through. I know from personal experience when I raise a flag on a structural issue, they try to explain it away as cosmetic! Besides being lazy, they’re also idiots!
The best advice I can give you is search for NACHI certified inspectors in your area - being certified by NACHI they’ve completed the most rigorous qualifications.
Good luck!


Ask to see couple of sample reports as well.

And a good reason to assess your REALTOR!